Innovative Strategies to Preserve Denver Latino/a Heritage
[Theme: Region and Resources]

Congreso 2022

This facilitated panel discussion will focus on innovative strategies and tools used to preserve Denver’s Latino/a and Chicano/a sites and heritage, including the La Alma Lincoln Park Historic Cultural District, the Chicano/a Murals of Colorado Project, and Denver’s Latino/Chicano Historic Context Study, released in February 2022. The panelists will provide case studies highlighting how these efforts pushed preservation boundaries, how they’ve catalyzed further preservation action, as well as how similar efforts can be applied in other cities. Discussion will also explore why it’s important to promote both tangible and intangible heritage.

Facilitator:

Amanda Sandoval, Northside City Councilperson District 1


Speakers:

Annie Levinsky, Historic Denver

Dr. Lucha Martinez de Luna, Chican@ Murals of Colorado Project

Jenny Buddenborg, City of Denver



Councilwoman Amanda P. Sandoval is a proud lifelong resident of Northwest Denver. In 1975 her parents opened a well-known area restaurant, La Casa de Tamales, now called La Casita and located in the Highlands neighborhood. Her dedication to Northwest Denver is rooted in the relationships she forged from serving others in the family restaurant, which remains a community gathering place. Through serving as aide to several former Denver Councilmembers, Sandoval developed the skills crucial to successful leadership, including challenging the status quo and forging diverse partnerships to affect real change. As Councilwoman for District 1, she has been a leader in her passions of land use, development and zoning. Her genuine compassion has been integral to addressing issues both large and small and creating a community where both current and future generations will thrive.


Annie Robb Levinsky is the Executive Director of Historic Denver, Inc., a position she has held since 2009. Through her work at Historic Denver Annie seeks to inspire ideas and actions that support Denver’s historic fabric and contribute to a vibrant and dynamic community with a unique identity. During her time with Historic Denver Annie created the award-winning Denver Story Trek program, launched Historic Denver’s Action Fund, and expanded the organization’s capacity to work with underrepresented communities. She is responsible for the organization’s advocacy agenda and has worked extensively on issues such as Loretto Heights and La Alma Lincoln Park. After attending three Denver Public Schools, Annie graduated summa cum laude from Colorado College with a degree in history and has subsequently studied urban planning.


Lucha Martínez de Luna was born and raised in Colorado. She has worked on numerous archaeological projects in the Southwest, American West, and central and southern Mexico. She serves as associate curator of Latino Heritage at History Colorado and is a PhD student at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at University of California Los Angeles. She has worked as a curatorial assistant at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Museo de las Americas, the Regional Museum of Guadalajara, and as the Division Director for the State Council of Culture and Arts in Chiapas, Mexico. Martínez de Luna is director of La Providencia Archaeological Project and a visiting professor at the University of Science and Arts in Chiapas where she directs an archaeological field school at the Zoque site of O’na Tök, a Preclassic to Postclassic regional center in western Chiapas. In Colorado, she is Executive Director of the Chicano/a/x Murals of Colorado Project, a grass roots organization that advocates for the protection of historic community murals throughout the state. The project collaborates with communities, artists, scholars, cultural and academic institutions to develop educational and preservation programs to celebrate the visual heritage of Colorado.


Jenny is the Adaptive Reuse Senior Project Administrator for the City of Denver, and previously served as a senior city planner in the Landmark Preservation program where she balanced preservation and development in one of the country’s fastest growing cities. She spearheaded and led the Denver Mexican American/Chicano/Latino historic context, published in February 2022. She also spent more than a decade as a preservation advocate with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. There, she traveled across the Intermountain West helping communities protect and celebrate their unique, historic assets. That work included leading complex advocacy campaigns with multi-disciplinary teams to save nationally significant, threatened places like Leadville’s Tabor Opera House—a National Treasure—and where she now serves as president of the Board of Directors. Jenny is passionate about finding resources and empowering people to protect the places that matter to them. She holds a B.A. in History from Wayne State University and an M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University.